Analysis Of James Baldwin's Views On Language

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I agree with James Baldwin when he says that language is the key to identity and social acceptance. Depending on what language you speak and in what dialect you speak it, people can either accept you or not and they can see your identity.
Suppose you are a person who comes to America from a country like Saudi Arabia. When you come you speak little English so you use Arabic to talk with your family. If someone overheard you speaking in Arabic they would most likely get scared of you and people would start to avoid you. Now if someone from another country such as Spain and speak Spanish they would not be ostracized as much as the person speaking Arabic would. This is because language can be a deciding factor in whether you will be accepted socially or not. As Baldwin says, “ There have been, and are, times, and places, when to speak a certain language could be dangerous, even fatal.” For example if you were to go to a country in the Middle East and speak English you …show more content…

In line 4 Baldwin says, “ Or, one may speak the same language, but in such a way that one’s antecedents are revealed or (one hopes) hidden.” If you are from the South in the United States and have a strong Southern accent and you travel to another area of the United States such as the Midwest, they would be able to tell that you are from the South. Although there are some circumstances where a person doesn’t have an accent and you aren’t able to infer where they are from. Later on in his essay Baldwin says that “ To open your mouth in England is (if I may use black English) to ‘put your business in the street’: You have confessed your parents, your youth, your school, your salary, your self-esteem, and alas, your future.” When you speak your language, in your dialect, you let people guess where you can from and also the way you speak can let a person know how confident or shy you

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